The United States had won an easy victory, partly because Mexico, torn by civil strife, could not present a united front to face the invader. The Mexican presidency had changed hands a number of times during the war, and some Mexican states had refused to cooperate with the central government. Peace negotiations were conducted on behalf of the United States by Nicholas P. Trist, a secret envoy, whose relations with General Scott were at first strained. Although recalled by President Polk, Trist decided to ignore the order and continue his negotiations, which resulted in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (Feb. 2, 1848). By the terms of the treaty, Mexico ceded to the United States two fifths of its territory and received an indemnity of $15 million and the assumption of American claims against Mexico by the U.S. government. The boundary between the two countries, as outlined, was to follow the Rio Grande from its mouth to the New Mexico line, then run west to the Gila River, follow the Gila to the Colorado River and then follow the boundary between Upper California and Lower California to the Pacific.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.